tv Piers Morgan Live CNN September 20, 2013 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
just -- everybody's going to be twittering and they won't -- i am christ and i have -- oh, my god, jesus is right in front of me, i swear to god. >> in everyone's defense, the new iphone does come in never before offered colors. make new phones and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold or was it make new friends. same difference. certainly on the riduculist. see you, i guess monday. on his knees and praying. >> the first thing i did was get on my knees and prayed for the people. >> his 21-year-old son shot himself to death. >> no way a gun should get in
the hands of a mentally ill person. >> reporter: how it tested his faith and put hisself back together and went back to his church. >> i was overwhelmed. >> i was horrified. it was so stupid i wanted to punch the computer. >> rick warren and his wife, kay, speaking out for the first time since their family tragedy. >> we stood in the driveway, just embracing each other, sobbing. >> piers morgan live. >> here with me now is pastor rick warren, the founder of saddleback church, his wife, kay, the co-founder. this is their first interview since the tragic death of their son back in april. welcome to both of you. 92 thank you. >> my deepest condolences to the awful loss of your family. i remember that day. you're very famous and it flew around the internet and around the world.
i felt a huge sense of sadness for you having interviewed you a few times. i can only begin to imagine what it was like for you two. ha how have you been coping? >> well, you know, elizabeth kubler ross did this thing called the four stages of death. i actually died. i actually think there's six. we've been watching ourselves go back and forth the first several months. the first stage is shock. for us, shock still happens. for at least the first month, i kept waiting for matthew to come in the door. when's my son going to walk in? i just couldn't believe it had happened it was so sudden. then you move from shock to sorrow, sadness and this profound sadness that comes into your life. then you move to what i call struggle. that's all the why questions. why now. why this? why me? why matthew? and all that struggle. then you move to a stage i call
surrender. i wrote in my journal one day and later tweeted it and said i'd rather have all my questions unanswered and walk with god than not walk with god and have all my questions answered. there is a struggle and finally you have to surrender and say, i'm not going to know all the answers. then you move to sanctiontification, a change that takes place in you and then service. service is how god wants us to use a hurt. one reason we decided to do this interview with you, maybe we can help some other people. >> i feel very honored you asked me to do this interview. you're a mother of three children, it's the worst thing in the world, i have four kids. the thing you dread most is losing one of your kids. how have you been coping with this? >> you know, i've said almost from the first moment that we learned, that we're devastated but we're not destroyed. when people ask that question how are you? there's no good answer. so i finally just settled on, i'm terrible but i'm kay.
in other words, we're going to survi survive, we're going to survive and some day we'll thrive again. it is. it's the worst thing that could ever happen. >> i have cried every single day since matthew died. that's actually a good thing. grief is a good thing. it's the way we get through the transitions of life. i find if i don't cry, then you stuff it. i have a saying, when i swallow my emotions, my stomach keeps score. if i don't talk it out to my wife, to god, my friends, i will take it out on my bodies. as guys, men, we don't do grief very well. we don't like the negative emotion. grief is a good thing. grief is the way we get through the transitions of life and been helpful to me. >> on the morning that matthew died, you both had this strange sense of foreboding. you'd been with him the night before. he was a troubled boy.
i will come to the mental health issues he battled his entire life. tell me why you both felt this sense of foreboding, starting with you, rick. >> i had been going through a whole week i was doing what i called the battle for hope. the sunday was easter, the biggest day for saddleback and i preached 14 times and why you needed a message of hope. on each day i had a battle for hope. on monday we announced i was starting a national radio program called daily hope and tuesday i announced i would write the first book since "purpose driven life" entitled "the hope you need" and the next day, a called "struggling throu your worst days" and then i had tom preach it called "what to do on the worst day of your life," not even knowing whthat would b
the worst day of my life. and then when it was a week old, that day, the message was called "winning the battle for your mind." the irony of that with a son who lost hope, took his life and had struggled for 27 years with this battle in his mind for mental illness. tender heart but a tortured mind. we just had this sense of foreboding that day. >> how had he been the night before? >> you know, he was -- it was actually one of the best weeks he'd had in a long time. >> it had been. >> we weren't surprised matthew took his life because he had been struggling with suicidal ideation for quite a while. we were surprised it was that kay. he had a datelined up, got a new job and telling me how the next day he was going to upgrade his phone to an iphone 5 and had this other gal he was going to go by and she was making eyes
and he was going to ask her. he laid his head on the kitchen table, i was making dinner, he just said, i'm so tired, i'm so tired. he had been asked to be a part of this offline chat room he was very excited about. he said, you know, the pressure, i want people to like me but if they do, then there's the -- can i maintain it and there's so much pressure. he left, i walked him out to the car and helped him carry stuff, gave him a hug, rick hugged him before he left. >> no sense of conflict. >> when i got his phone ba back -- he was tired -- but when we got his phone back from the police. i checked. at 9:45 p.m. he was texting for the girl he was going to have a date with so he was excited. nine minutes later he texted me and said, i feel like it's all spiraling out of control and i'm going to -- i'm going to take my life, in nine minutes, he went -- >> it's like a switch. >> he went -- i was in a texting
conversation with him then for the next hour trying to talk him off that ledge, talk him into it. i knew it was very desperate. i knew he had a gun. i knew that there was -- that he had the lethal means. >> had the means now. >> not only was he impulsively he was in despair i knew he could do something about it. >> how did you know he had the gun? >> he told me. >> he told us. >> he told us everything? >> i will come to that. he bought the gun online illegally. >> he did. >> but you knew you had a suicide allison with a gun. >> then he stopped texting and he was getting more and more agitated. nothing i was saying was making any difference i wasn't able to calm him down. he just stopped? we had talked him off the edge hundreds of time. >> i just knew. rick was very ill. i made him get out of bed and we drove over to matthew's house. >> at night. >> lights were on. i started ringing the doorbell, banging on the to the door, inv
me in. he did nothing. that was not his pattern. i had a pretty good sense that perhaps something catastrophic had happened. >> what time was this? >> that was late on thursday, april 4th. so i was pretty sure that something had happened. but he had also told us that if we called the police, that he would take his life instantly. so a call to the police was an instant suicide. so i was living with that horrible horrible choice of do i call the police and perhaps int intervene or do i take the risk and call and he instantly kills himself. so we had to wait for a few hours. so, it was into the next day that i felt that he was not responding, and finally, when i sent the text saying, look, i'm calling the police. give me one word that tells me you're okay, one word i won't call the police. >> we'll call 9/11 -- 911,
whatever. >> we came back and the same light were on. by there at time we knew. >> you got to the house and had this awful sense he had taken his own life but called police and were waiting. >> right. >> that moment for the both of you must have been beyond harrowing. >> we were sobbing, just sobbing. the day i feared might happen one day since he'd been born and the day i prayed would never happen happen happened. as we stood in the driveway just embracing each other and sobbing. kay was wearing a necklace. you're wearing it today, that had the words of a book she wrote a year ago, called "choose joy." she held it up and it said choose joy. i thought, are you kidding? how can i choose joy in this worst circumstance of my life? but we, even in that moment,
were trying to say, we're not in control but we do have a greater hope and we do have a source of joy that isn't based on our circumstan circumstances, and it was a holy moment. >> it was excruciating to sit there, even though i knew, by that point, i knew that he was gone, to have an officer come out the door and just, you know, nod. >> say the words you never want to hear. >> i hit the ground. i hit the ground. >> and the things a, it's not supposed to end like this. we had had close calls. matthew had made attempts on his life before in other ways, and we just kept -- you know, when matthew was born, even as a young child, he struggled with mental illness, we can get into that when you want to talk about it, so we knew that this day
might happen some day but it's a day no parent wants. it's your worst nightmare. and i'll never forget. i'll never forget the agony of that moment. >> let's take a short break. i will come back and talk to you about the appalling battles that matthew had gone through, the battles that you went through as parents, to try an prevent this happening. >> good. >> then, when they brought his body out, i -- i -- i hugged him for all it was worth. ♪ ♪ unh ♪ ♪ hey! ♪ ♪ let's go! ♪ [ male announcer ] you can choose to blend in. ♪ ♪ yeah! yeah! yeah! or you can choose to blend out. ♪ oh, yeah-eah!
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when matthew died several months back, it forced me to do deeper with god than i've ever had to go in my entire life. >> that was from rick warren's saturday sermon how to get through what you're going through. talking to rick and his wife, kay exclusively. this is heartbreaking to listen to, for anybody, never mind a parent, anybody to go through this. you're there at his house, matthew's house. you now know that he has done what you always hoped he'd never do. did you go in? did you go and try and see him? >> i didn't want to see what the possibility was, so i opened the door, i let the police in and i let them go into the room and i immediately came right back out. i didn't want to -- >> no. we didn't -- neither of us wanted to -- >> see the scene. >> the pictures in our mind were terrible enough. >> bad enough. >> we were fortunate. some people find their loved ones. we were fortunate we did not have to witness that.
but they let us know that it was catastrophic enough that the police officer was like, you know, you- >> you don't want- >> you don't want to have an open casket. so i assumed i would never see him again, so then i said, i am definitely -- i want to s see -- i'm going to hug him when -- when you bring him out. so they did. when they -- then, when they brought his body out, i -- i i hugged him for all it was worth and the coroner tried to move me away and i'm just like -- i will be done when i am done. i'm hugging my son until i'm finished. we were really -- it was an amazing blessing to us that they were -- we were able to -- we were able to use a beanie and we were able to have an open casket and viewing for those in our family. that was a treasure.
>> it was a closure for us. >> it sounds weird but -- >> no, it doesn't. >> it was a treasure to be able to see him and touch him and hold him again. >> there are more suicides annually in america now than there are from auto accidents. one every 13.7 minutes, even while we've been doing this interview, somebody else has committed suicide in america. what does that tell you? >> well, on a personal level, on a family level, on a government level, there'd be three different answers. on a personal level it tells me there are a lot of people in despair. not all those people are mentally ill by far. but mental illness is a -- is really in one way the last taboo. >> the leading cause. >> piers, any other organ in my body can get broken and there's no shame, no stigma to it. my liver stops working, heart
stops working, my lungs stop working, i have diabetes, my pancreas or adrenaline. but if my brain is broken i'm supposed to feel bad about it and feel ashamed. a lot of people who should get help don't. >> matthew from an early age suffered from depression and misdiagnosed with bipolar and other conditions. in the end you believe he was correctly diagnosed eventually with something called -- >> borderline personality disorder? >> what is that? >> borderline personality disorder is a pervasive attachment, if you will, to mood swings, suicide ideation. it's a dysregulation of emotions. there's usually a lot of difficulty in interpersonal relationships. many times people who cut or burn themselves also have borderline personality. it's pervasive, meaning it's just really hard to deal with, but there is hope for it.
>> it's hard to imagine all that i've researched on this with you and your family and matthew, it's hard to imagine any who suffers from this kind of illness who's had more love and support from their family, from a wide circle of friends, who's had more treatment from the so-called experts, more instituti institutionlized -- >> right. >> moments. everything you can imagine and still it wasn't enough to save him. >> if you look at the risk factors of what puts people at risk for suicide, matthew had almost none of the risk factors. he had a great, as you say, loving family. he had access to care, he had friends, he had everything. and yet -- >> strong social system around him. >> yeah. the main risk factor for him was mental illness and he had that. >> if love could have kept my child alive, he'd be alive today because he was incredibly loved. he had an older sister and older brother who were fiercely protective of him, even as a
young child, when he -- the signs of mental illness came on and we could see it, the whole family rallied around. >> he was not ostracized in any way. he was welcomed in the extended family. he had all of those things that should lower his risk. but we've known for years and years, a decade at least he was trying to take his life. >> how many timed had he actually tried? >> he had actually made two other attempts that were definite attempts, plus all the attempts to attempt. he would text me and say, i'm trying. i can't make myself do it, i'm such a wimp, i can't even succeed at this. two actual other attempts, one 10 days before he completed it. >> before he had taken an overdose? >> he overdosed. he had -- i'll tell you this. he kept trying. there are charltons on the internet who pray on very vulnerable people like matthew. he didn't want to die violently.
he wanted to die in a peaceful way. he tried to buy nimbutol on the internet. people took thousands of dollars to him and never gave it to him. people sold him poison that was supposedly peaceful poison. he really -- he was so desperate to end the pain. that's the most important thing is that matthew was in such excruciating emotional and physical pain. he just wanted the pain to stop. >> matthew was not afraid to die. he was afraid of pain. i remember 10 years ago, when he was 17, he came to me, sobbing and he said, daddy, he said, it's really clear, i'm not growing to get any better. we'd gone to the best doctors, hospitals, best treatments, therapists, prayer, everything you could imagine, good support and he says, it's real clear i'm not going to get any better so why can't i just die? i know i'm going to heaven, so why can't i -- he was not afraid
to die. >> what did you say to him, rick? >> in that situation, i said, matthew, the reason why, there is a purpose even in our pain. i am not willing to just give up and say the solution isn't there. you might give up but as your father, as your mother, we're not ever giving up that we won't find the solution because i really believe matthew could have been a great advocate for children in the world. he was an amazingly compassionate kid. he had an ability to walk into a room and he instantly knew who was in the most pain in that room, with his antennae up. he could feel it. he would make a beeline for that person and the rest of the evening during that party he would spend the rest of the time trying to cheer them up and encourage them. he said, dad, i can help a lot of other people, i just can't get it to work for me. when relater looked at these so-called suicide sites, and found the number of people he had actually helped, even in his
own agony and our -- it's the world's loss that he's not here. >> yeah. >> it's the world's loss. >> let's take another break. let's come back and talk about how he killed himself, the gun he used and how he got that gun. that in itself should never have happened. >> yeah. we're grateful that the law has kept matthew from getting a gun as long as it did. >> yeah.
that's for sure. the gun laws in california are very strict and they worked. he couldn't get a gun legally. >> had he tried to do it legally? >> yeah. >> for a long time. >> he had tried- >> we're grateful the law has kept matthew from getting a gun as long as it did. >> but he kept trying. >> he wanted one as far as you're aware, for one purpose. >> only one purpose. >> to take his life. >> it would end it for him and he was so determined -- >> when did he finally get this gun? >> a month before he took his life. >> do you know how he got it? who he got it from? >> he told me -- he told me everything. he told me he found somebody on the internet who would sell it to him and had to be super encrypted and this whole process and he begged me to help him because he couldn't figure out the process because there's so many moments of terrible choices with mental illness. here's my son in terrible pain begging me to help him get a
means to end is pain. it's like, my son, i can't do that. i can help you live. i will do anything to help you live. i cannot help you take your life. he finally, through great struggle was able to figure it out and he got a gun illegally on the internet and then he filed down the serial numbers so we -- made the effort to find the person and he had done a really good job. >> he didn't want anybody else blamed for his choice. i have to say, piers, one of the hard things was forgiving the person who sold him the gun. i didn't want to forgive him. >> he preyed on a desperate person. >> did you ever find out who it was? the police haven't been able to find out? >> they have never been able to trace the gun because it was so encrypted. >> have you been able to forgive this person? >> yeah. i have to forgive, not for his benefit, for mine. i forgive, first, because i've been forgiven by god.
second, unforgiveness makes mimiserable and third, i will need forgiveness in the future. we don't forgive for them, for us. >> i don't want to be tied to that person emotionally the rest of my life. >> the gun itself, kay, i always feel i campaigned a lot about gun control. one of the aspects i don't cover a lot is the suicide rate through guns. in states there are more guns, there tend to be more suicides. you talked very movingly, rick, after sandy hook and other shootings about the gun culture in america. this is another example but it's touched your family. what can be done about this? is there anything that can be done about it? >> i think, piers, there are multiple angles we have to hit on this because we are in a culture of violence. but it's -- there's the mental health issue, there's the social
issue of kids are growing up playing video games and might have shot 30, 40,000 people before they're 16. >> and dehumanized in that thought process. >> dehumanized. it's fun. there's that culture. then, there is the issue of gun control. they don't call an assault rifle an assault rifle for nothing. it's for assaulting. >> just recently we had this incident at the naval yard in washington. another mass shooting. >> yeah. >> countless more lives devastated. >> yeah. >> so it goes on, just this constant tidal wave. now that you've been so pers personally touched and you're in such a position of authority. >> yeah. >> is it affecting what you're going to be saying about this going forward? >> yeah. it will affect me in all three of those areas, not simply gun control. when i heard about that, those deaths at the naval yard, the first thing i did was get down on my knees and pray for those
families of the victims. those who died and those who were wounded. and my heart went out to them. i do think that it shou should -- there is no way a gun should ever get in the hands of a mentally ill person, there's just no way. as i said, california has one of the strictest gun laws around. even with strict gun laws, he figured out a way. if you are persistent, you will figure out a way. in addition to laws that restrict we also have to go to issues of why did my son want a g gun? were there better ways to help him? we, of all people, had the means, the ability, the connection to find help for our son. and if we couldn't find it, what is the person who is a single parent, who has a mentally ill family member or a poor person has a family member, this is an issue that has to be brought to the forefront. >> people say it's the second amendment right of every
american to have guns. what do you say to them? >> it is. it's in our constitution, so i don't -- i don't have a problem with that. i am not -- i am not saying that guns should be outlawed completely. i do believe our constitution has that there for a reason. i absolutely do believe in very strong good laws that protect the innocent, that protect the vulnerable. >> background checks. >> background checks, waiting periods, something that could be added probably fairly easily is when firearms are given or you purchase it, there's instructions how to prevent accidental shootings. what if there was just even some information about in that, talking to people about suicide? what if the gun manufacturers and dealers also included information about keeping guns away from people who are
mentally ill? some small simple things that could actually prevent the number of deaths that happen by guns. >> let's take another break. i want to talk to you about the months you both basically spent in seclusion after this happened and also about the appalling attacks you got on the internet and others, another curse of the modern age. i want to talk to you about that as well. >> i never questioned my faith in god, i questioned god's plan. la's known definitely for its traffic,
congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. woman: everyone in the nicu -- all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days.
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when matthew died, satan thought he had won, but actually, he had lost. why? because he couldn't torture him anymore. >> pastor rick's first sermon of matthew's suicide. he and his wife, kay, are back with me now. you obviously talked about how difficult it was. at the same time, you're one of the most famous pastors in america. you knew there would have to be a moment you got back out there and talked about this. what was that moment like? you both went out on the stage. kay, you only lasted a couple minutes because you found it so difficult, which is completely understandable. for you, rick, that moment when you walked out? >> i was overwhelmed by the love of our people. kay and i have given 33 years to
this church. and i felt like they all gave it back in a moment. it was just a very tender moment for me. as a pastor, i have walked through the valley of the shadow of death with thousands of people. i have walked -- i've stood at the bedsides and seen lots of people take their last breath. i have been there for those people for 33 years. and they were there for us, when we needed them most. there are different levels of grief. the easiest funeral to do is when an elderly person dies, they lived a good life, loved the lord, ready to go to heaven. when my parents died, kay's dad died, more like a homecoming and celebration of a life. more difficult with a spouse and more difficult than that, the death of a spouse with little children at home.
that's tough. a murder is a tough funeral to do. without a doubt, the most difficult kind of funeral is the death of a child, because parents aren't supposed to outlast their children. on top of that is a suicide. people go why? now, i'm doing the death of a child funeral, the death of my child's funeral. the death of my child's funeral is a suicide, and then, as you said, as a well-known person, everybody knows. it's on the cnn news, ticker. that's difficult. that's why we just decided, i decided i was going to use social media to grieve. >> this is a tough question for you, rick. there must have been a moment aftermath new took his life, when even you questioned your faith in god. >> i never questioned my faith in god, i questioned god's plan. there's a big difference.
i know god is a good god. nothing can take that from my life. i know god is a loving god. the question is, it's like my children. my children have never doubted that i love them but they sometimes doubt my wisdom and they don't think i've made the right decision. not everything that happens in the world is god's will. everything that happens in the world, god allows, he permits. but because it couldn't happen without his permission. but we live in a world where there are free choices. if i choose to do wrong, i can't blame god for that. so god isn't to blame for my son's death. my son took his life. it was his choice. if i chose to go out and get drunk and get in a khawr aca ca in an accident, i can't blame god for that. >> kay, have you gone through any doubt of your faith? >> it's what rick said, our faith is the foundation that's gotten us through. it's solid and strong.
before, i have something i want to show you. there's this box that i -- was given to me a few years ago, and i -- it's got the word -- it's a marble box and it's got the word "hope" on it. >> her hope box. >> it's my hope box. i filled it with verses that gave me comfort, gave me encouragement, verses that kept my faith really strong before matthew passed away. everyday i would sit and read these verses. that morning, after, i opened my hope box and i went through those verses one more time. after that, i didn't open it for a month. i couldn't. then i started to think, where do i go from here? what do you do when your hope has been crushed? the only way i know how to rebuild it is go back to my faith and god's word. this time i started putting verses in that give me hope for the future. there's this amazing verse in
fir first corinthians 15 citizen 43. our bodies are buried in brokenness but they will be raised in glory. they are buried in weakness but will be raised in strength. every time i go to the centimetecemetery, i quote that verse. matthew's body was buried in brokenness but will be raised in glory. i said, matthew, you were buried in weakness but you will be raised in strength. the struggle has been not in believing that god exists, not that god is evil, but god is good. >> he is good. >> i have this other tiny pot there's questions i can't answer, did matthew think of 0 us before he pulled the trigger? did he -- was there any moment in which he suffered? why, after all those years of prayer and effort did he die? all these things i have no answers for, i put them in this little pot, my mystery pot. here's my hope box, my mystery pot.
everyday almost i fill it with another question i can't answer. what i know to be true is god will answer those questions, they will be answered and my hope is very certain. >> and that matthew was not in heaven three seconds when all of his questions were answered. >> life makes sense to him now. >> yeah. >> let's take another very short break. i want to come back and continue this, about how you've managed to get yourselves and your family back on track after the most awful of blows. snow matthew wasn't gay but if he was, we would have loved him unconditionally anyway. it wouldn't have made any difference at all. >> he was our son. >> he was, he was our son. um... where's mrs. davis? she took an early spring break thanks to her double miles from the capital one venture card. now what was mrs. davis teaching? spelling. that's not a subject, right? i mean, spell check. that's a program.
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for a body in motion. lord, you know the lonely tears and know the moments we crawl in bed and ask god to take it all away. >> that was rick and kay's daughter, amy. rick and kay are back with me now. is there any sense, rick, despite the appalling despair you've gone through, is there any sense of relief as a family that matthew is now with god in heaven, out of pain? >> yeah. if i didn't have that hope, i would be in ultimate despair. but we have built our lives, our faith, our family, our ministry on the belief that because of jesus christ, because of what he did on the cross for us, we can have our past forgiven, we have a purpose for living and we have a home in heaven. that takes care of my past, my
prent a present and my future. >> how much harder has it been to deal with the modern curse, if you like, of internet chatter? >> we ignore it. >> i was going to ask you that. there are two strands that have been particularly vicious in your case. one are these fake accounts set up supposedly on your behalf to raise money, which is just theft. you had to shut down hundreds of these things. >> yes. >> and secondly, the rumor mill. the people trying to say, well, what happened here was matthew was and therefore your views on homosexuality tipped him over the edge. you know all this? >> first, matthew wasn't gay and if he was, it wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever. >> he was our son. >> he was our son. it wouldn't have made any difference at all. no doctor would diagnose a patient without seeing him. that would be considered unethical, but many bloggers and
many people on the internet make diagnosis all the time without any knowledge why they're doing it. you just have to ignore it, you just can't pay any attention to it. we keep what we call a tough skin and a tender heart. >> do you have, either of you, any big what if tried? >> of course. >> i think you always second guess yourself in grief. bl that's part of grief, the what if. i look over all the years of treatment, over all the years of doctors, every approach we tried. i was reading my journal just last night, and there were days where i went, what if we had done this. >> the one that springs to mind for me, i suppose the what if, what if knowing he had acquired an illegal gun. you had reported that to the authorities. you have already said, kay, he always said if you call the police, i'll kill myself.
obviously, an incredibly difficult what if. do you think it could have made any difference? >> if you're determined, you're going to figure out a way to take your life. >> he was determined. sitting here in this moment, it's very clinical. it's very, you know, we can second guess all over the place, but in that moment when you have a mentally ill person who's telling you they're going to take their life and it's your son and you don't want him to take his life, the choices, mental illness creates such horrendous choices for families. through talking to professionals, i mean, we were not making these decisions on our own. >> here's another thing. one thing that needs to change legally is to give families more power in dealing with people who are mentally ill and their family. because the pendulum has swung the other way to human right so much that many parents and
family members cannot get a conservatorship, cannot get a control over somebody -- they see a life deteriorating, falling apart -- >> doctors won't even talk to family members, even when the family member has given permission. see, the mentally ill, this is a quagmire, and i don't even know how to deal with it. i just know it exists, which is two of the basic rights that the mentally ill have are a right to autonomy and a right to privacy. actually stand in the way many times of them getting the help they need. i don't have any good answers. it's a dance. >> we had to face that time and time again in what we knew what was best for matthew we couldn't do by law. >> let's take a final break. i want to come back and talk about the last memory of how you'd like him to be remembered. >> in god's garden of grace,
even a broken tree bears fruit. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson.
>> piers, we have always known since matthew always lived his life with the illness, one day we would be spokespeople for mental illness. we've known this for years and years. the reason we were quiet was primarily to protect his dignity. it was his story to tell. we were praying either, a, he would be healed miraculously, or b, we would get treatment, management, to help manage his disease for the rest of his life and he can tell his story. the only reason we have held back from being a public figure on this was his own dignity. after he died, that issue was gone. >> we didn't want him to endure the scrutiny that was thrown at rick. he was already in the spotlight. >> he didn't need that. >> he didn't need that. >> how would you like him to be remembered, kay? >> oh, my funny, quirky,
ridiculously silly, deeply compassionate, had such a sense of justice. we put on his marker, compassionate warrior. that pretty much sums him up. deep compassion. >> iyou know, we probably received over 30,000 letters of condolences. the ones that meant the most to me were the ones that matthew had led to faith in christ. that they're going to be in heaven because of him. and i know the lord. i have a relationship with jesus because of your son over the years. and i remember writing in my journal that in god's garden of gra grace, even a broken tree bears fruit. and that was true of his life. and you know, you say, are you happy it's making a difference? of course, i am. i still want my son back. >> absolutely. >> i still want my son back.
but as david said in second samuel, david lost a son. he said, he will not come back to me, but i will go to him. and that is the hope of heaven that we have. and that is strength in us even through the darkest day. david says, when i go through the valley of the shadow of death, wherever there's a shadow, there's a light. and so the key to walking through the valley of the shadow of death is to turn your back on the shadow, which is scary, and look at the loyte. and that's how you get through it. >> do you feel he's here now? >> well, i know he's in heaven looking down on us. and we have many loved ones there. my parents, kay's mom and dad. and that presence of god is more important than the presence of matthew in my life. is that i sense the presence of god in my life very close, that i'm not going through this alone. that's a comfort. >> rick and kay, it's been such an honor and a privilege to do this